Chase to WaMu Customer: "God Bless Your Soul"

I went into a Brooklyn Chase today to see if, in the wake of the concerns about them going bust, Washington Mutual customers were switching over. I went up to the manager and said, “I’m a WaMu customer —” “—God bless your soul,” he interjected.

I asked if he had seen an uptick in the number of WaMu customers switching over in the past week. “We’ve seen it in the past six months,” he said. “The rich people leave first, then everyone else does. Why don’t you open an account?”

When asked if WaMu customers were opening up Chase accounts as backups, he said, “Most people just switch.”

PREVIOUSLY: Don’t Start Yanking Your WaMu Accounts


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  1. SuffolkHouse says:

    Is there back-story here?

    • Brazell says:

      @SuffolkHouse & @JadoJodo:

      The back story is that Washington Mutual could be the next bank to fail and there’s been some conjecture that Chase may buy them out anyway. Not sure if either of those scenarios are likely, but WaMu has been getting dumped for the last 6 months or so. I don’t know why Chase is the choice to go for, but it could be a regional thing (Chase and WaMu aren’t very prolific in the North East, where I am, but I’m sure elsewhere they probably are).

  2. JadoJodo says:

    Yeah, I wonder. I’ve heard worse things about Chase than WaMu.

  3. keith4298 says:

    I’ve used Chase for years and rarely have any problems with them. If you use direct deposit, they waive all fees and have no minimum requirements. They were sticklers on checks (only giving me the original complimentary boxes), but when I threatened to leave, they even gave me free checks for life.

  4. Adisharr says:

    Chase is one of the worst banks I’ve ever been involved with. M&T is right up there. Chase doesn’t give a shit about you unless you have a lot of money with them.

    If you need a real bank in Rochester, NY just go to ESL Federal Credit Union. They at least pretend to care and have an excellent staff and online banking system.

  5. cybercjh says:

    I think you’re going to see more banks offering ‘Free Checks for Life.’ Think about it – who writes checks anymore? WaMu gives me free checks for life – they gave me a whole farking box 2 years ago when I opened my account. I started at check 101. I think I’m on number 115. Everything is electronic now.

    • SuffolkHouse says:

      If you’ve ever tried to change accounts from one bank to another AFTER setting up auto-pay with utilities and other service providers, you know how valuable checks can be.

      I used to pay bills automatically, until I switched banks and found that both the banks and the creditors will screw up the account change. As such, I no longer pay anything automatically, and pay nearly all of my bills by check unless given some sort of incentive to do otherwise.

      • nrich239 says:

        @SuffolkHouse: I don’t think they meant auto-pay.

        With my bank, my bills are paid electronically but aren’t auto-paid. I have to manually go on the site, set the amount and the deliver by date for each bill. Most companies accept electronic transfers. I even do this with my rent check and since they don’t take electronic transfers, my bank cuts a paper check and mails it to them. All at no cost to me :)

        • harlock_JDS says:

          @nrich239: I do the exact same thing, it only takes a moment to manually type in the amount to be paid and to click commit and that beats the hassel of worrying about when and if the amount will actually come out.

          I think it’s foolish to have just one bank account anyways. Our joint account is with wamu but starting with my next paycheck We are going to switch to using my BoA account (who’s online functionality i like better anyways).

        • lannister80 says:

          @nrich239: Yep, my credit union ( does the same thing. I can even send an ‘electronic’ payment to a friend or someone I owe money to…the credit union just mails them a paper check. It also tells you when they guarantee delivery by (like 1 day for big institutions, a week or so for a paper check to Joe Nobody/small company).

    • mythago says:

      @cybercjh: Lots of people write checks. A lot of local and small business don’t take plastic because of the service charges. Ditto community organizations. If I want to send money to a friend, a stamp and a check means PayPal doesn’t get a cut. And I realize this puts them in the Dark Ages, but my kids’ schools don’t generally accept auto-debits when we pay for field trips.

      • cybercjh says:

        @mythago: I know. I’m just saying compared to 5 or 10 years ago, the amount of checks people write has to be going down. So, it’s an incentive to give people free checks – they’re using less and less of them.

  6. Nigromancer says:

    It really won’t matter soon as Chase will purchase WaMu.

  7. nicemarmot617 says:

    Hmmm, I’m not rich, but I am pretty smart, and I switched my cash from WAMU to Chase in January. I didn’t get a “bless your heart” so much as I got a “What do you mean, you want a box of checks?” But seriously, I’m not surprised there’s been an uptick for the past six months. When the first thing your bank cuts is filling their ATMs, people are going to leave in droves.

    On second thought, it probably wasn’t the first thing they cut, but it was definitely the first thing I noticed.

  8. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    Eh, I have to go to chase everyday for company related buisness. They are the pushiest sales people in the industry. They’d tell you the earth is flat to get you to open an account.

  9. baristabrawl says:

    I don’t care for Chase. But it’s funny that 5 or 6 stories down there’s a story about how you shouldn’t run from WaMu.

  10. lol_wut says:

    I have my wife write checks to only a select few businesses, including doctor’s offices, because we know how quickly the checks will clear. While many of you will say that the funds are debited from the account much faster now, I often see two week delays on the time it takes for the funds to be taken out of my account. Part of it is when the company decides to deposit the check, and some is likely due to processing, but two weeks is a stretch and I refuse to work with that.

    Because our debit cards don’t afford us as much security as a credit card would, we use them only in trusted locations – otherwise we withdraw cash.

  11. zentex says:

    call me stubborn, but I’m not moving from WaMu. I can always move stuff to my wife’s account at another bank should bad things come to pass. But I don’t play the ‘day trader game’, where you jump ship when a butterfly farts in saudi arabia. WaMu says they can make it to 2010, I’ll give ’em the benefit of the doubt.

    ..and of course other banks are gonna tell you what they want you to hear, it’ll help them get more deposit accounts. duh.

  12. mizj says:

    In Chicago, all we have is Chase and WaMu. And Chase has an ATM nearly everywhere you go, while WaMu…doesn’t. So that’s why, at least here in IL.

    • MissTicklebritches says:

      @mizj: we also have Citi’s and BofA’s everywhere.

    • AdmiralKit says:

      @mizj: That’s because Chase bought out BankOne, who was HQ’d in Chicago. They got the BankOne locations and the infrastructure that went with it.

    • mrosedal says:

      @mizj: Unless you live outside the city. In Champaign there are two Chase branches that skirted around the rules to get into the city. Other than that there is no Wamu or B of A or any other major chain bank. It is kind of nice actually.

  13. balthisar says:

    I have free checks for life at Chase. They still say “National Bank of Detroit” on them. The checks still worked when they became “BankOne,” and still work now with “Chase.” The only real incovenience is that that have my home address from before I was a homeowner, three addresses ago.

  14. Ein2015 says:

    The skeptic in me must wonder if that CSR was just trying to get you to open an account… perhaps by “bending” the truth…

  15. Sndtrkman says:

    I used to be a Harris customer for a long time till they started screwing me over with overdrafts and changing my account on me without giving me any notice. As soon as I got that settled with them, I closed my account and went to Chase. Since then (roughly 4 or 5 years ago) I have had zero problems with them whatsoever. I now have my checking, savings, credit card and auto loan thru them. It’s just so convenient to have them all in one location and I must say I’ll be a Chase customer for life.

  16. mike says:

    Is there a disadvantage of keeping multiple accounts open? I have a few accounts open that I used before.

    Assuming that the banks don’t have any fees, I don’t see a harm in keeping an account open.

    • shoelace414 says:

      @linus: Be careful to do something with the un-used accounts, or else the state will take the money.

      I personally do something with all my accounts every year around my birthday.

  17. I moved to TD Banknorth last month, and I’m very happy. (Of course, I was with BoA before, so moving to Satan Savings and Loan would have been an improvement.)

  18. sir_eccles says:

    I’m not sure what the story is here.

    You walked into a bank and said [paraphrasing] “I bank with someone else and I’m thinking of switching”

    You were then surprised that the manager tried to sell you an account and suggested “everyone else is doing it”.

    So? What else was he going to say?

  19. racordes says:

    Stay away from the megabanks. Join a credit union.

  20. Triborough says:

    I bank at Commerce, which is owned by Canadians who actually have hard currency.

    • veronykah says:

      @Triborough: And they have dog bones for when you bring your dog to the bank with you!
      Wish they had Commerce in California…
      I have an account with WaMu I have always been more than happy with and a savings with ING. Not really worried about the state of WaMu at the moment, I have more money in the savings than the WaMu anyway. The hassle of changing all my banking info etc would be more than its worth I think.

  21. NikonGal says:

    I have had a checking account with Washington Mutual for at least 20+ years. In all that time, I have never had any problem that I wasn’t able to straighten out with a simple phone call to the manager of my local branch. Dare I say it – I am rooting for them and I hope they can recover.

  22. azntg says:

    I will maintain a comfortable amount with WaMu and see what happens.

    I will continue business with the successor bank (whether it be Chase, a leaner WaMu, etc.) ONLY if they will continue honoring the terms with minimal modifications of the current WaMu Free Checking account. If they ever decide to switch our accounts to their inferior terms (usually with unfeasibly high balance requirements, more fees here and there, diminished free services, etc.), the account will be closed on the spot. My TD Commerce Bank account and Alliant Credit Union account will gain primary status.

  23. humperdinck says:

    I wouldn’t switch to Chase if they offered me free rim jobs for life. And if they do take over WaMu, I’ll pull my money out of there faster than you can say “Chase is the worst bank ever.”

  24. Corydon says:

    I’m another one of those pretty satisfied WaMu account holders. I’ve never had much in the way of hassle from them—everything just generally seems to work the way it should. So I have no plans to close my account at this time.

    On the other hand, it seems like it would be silly not to examine all of the options in case WaMu does get taken over by someone like Chase.

    So what is the general experience with Chase? Do they have similar free checking to WaMu?

    Other alternatives I’m looking at is USAA’s bank (I already have my insurance through them so adding banking would be a fairly easy step). The lack of branches in my city is a little worrying however. Does the all online model really and truly work?

    My other option would be to join my local credit union (Bellco, if there are any other Coloradans on here who have experience with them).

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      @Corydon: You HAVE to get USAA. Their banking division is as amazing (or more amazing) then their insurance division. You can scan checks or mail them in prepaid envelopes. You have to use an ATM to get cash, but they refund the fees on those too.

      Down with Wamu. They once put a freakin 30 day hold on my paycheck. They also neglected to mention that they were holding my check, and claimed that the funds were avaliable immediately. When I went to spend MY money, I generated 4 overdrafts before I realized what they had done. When I went to get these overdrafts taken off for their error, then would only remove 1 of them in addition to the 1 they refund automatically. BUT, if I applied for a “Platinum WAMU Mastercard”, they would wave the other two fees. Screw them.

  25. Exek says:

    It was a sales pitch to get you to go over to
    Chase. When I was in banking whenever we hear a competitor was having trouble or merging with another bank we will use it as a way to bring in new accounts over to us. Scare them that their finances might not be best over there or scare them that mergers some time don’t go smoothly. Besides do you really think a manager at a competitor is going to tell you the truth? No they’re going to say what that manger said.

  26. nsv says:

    If Chase was the last bank on earth (don’t laugh… someday it might get to that,) and my choices were to bank there or keep my money under my mattress and buy money orders at the post office, I’d learn to sleep on a lumpy mattress.

    I started to list all the problems I had with Chase, but then I realized that this was going to be a very long post. Stay away from Chase.

    • azntg says:

      @Corydon: If you have the option for USAA, I’d suggest that you take it.

      As of Chase, I took a look at this myself recently (this is based on information for New York-based Chase accounts).

      Turns out Chase does offer a free checking option, but only with direct deposit or with 5 monthly debit card purchase transactions. [This one doesn’t work for me, as I get sporadic direct deposits and I absolutely refuse to use my debit card for anything other than an in-network ATM transaction or a small purchase made solely for cash back as a last resort.]

      The other nearest alternative – at a stretch – is by maintaining a $1,500 minimum balance on a checking account [a sum that I consider excessive for a fee-laden, non-interest bearing checking account].

      With all account types at Chase, there’s plenty of fees to go around. Make a withdrawl at non-Chase ATMs? That’ll be $2/transaction. Don’t meet the account requirements. Chase’ll charge you a $6 or $12 for the privilege of them holding your money for you. (God forbid) foreign transactions on your debit account? It can be done for 3%!

      Just based on the number, banking with Chase is generally a money-losing (whether intentional or unintentional) proposition.

      Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get much for personal experiences. Some of my friends who bank with Chase weren’t able to tell me much about their experiences with them (either they did not make enough transactions to form a conclusive opinion, or their parents managed their accounts for them *sigh*). My experience was: I banked with Washington Mutual because Chase couldn’t get their acts together making an account for me! (And this was BEFORE I started to pay attention to the fine prints)

      @nsv: Unless every single financial institution let you down, perhaps you’ll consider a credit union account to supplement the lumpy mattress? I’m seriously considering that myself.

  27. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I have had an account with WaMu since I switched over from Wells Fargo ten years ago. I have had two problems with them, one small (failed to record a check payment) and one major (phone rep said he was putting a travel alert on my account and didn’t, causing me to not be able to access my money on an overseas business trip for 24 hours). Both times the situation was handled to my eventual satisfaction. Of course, I haven’t had one single overdraft the entire time, so I can’t speak to that. The upshot is that I really can’t complain about my treatment.

    Right now I’m stuck, though. I’m about to leave on another six weeks of business trips Friday, and I live in Houston. None of the local credit unions I called expect to be doing business this week because of the hurricane, and I really could not afford to have my money in transition while I’m away anyway. Guess I’m just hosed for the time being….

  28. johnnya2 says:

    Banks are giving anything and everything to get your deposit. I have opened 4 accounts this year, netting me $300 in cash just for direct deposit. I put $100 out of each pay in three of the accounts and the rest into my main account. No fees, no minimum and

  29. CaptRavis says:

    The old band didn’t want to get back together
    So Dyan Beito and and Dianna Oppenheimer went with the grace and gusto to Barckleys Bank across the pond.
    These teammated were a good fit for a few solid years.
    Buy Oppenheimner and Beito have standards and morals and Killenger didnot….so the beat down takes place….mark molner in sacto and byetio and oppenheimer all pack up and go to scotland…..

    leaving the susbstanicial brainstrust type whole to be filled with Formr JP Morgan prople….loking goodm but a small pwer stuggle and killenger staves off the JC Morgan attemts,,,buy now finds him self with out and ally.
    He catched the bad brake on thepresidnts title, but stall out long enough to keep his severenc paga with the big shit starts to roll down the hill. …and it has. The JC MORGAN people brought in to repleace the ethical group of (Great Western Bank-hasbeens) that went to scotland for Barcqlueys, were susppsose to take WAMU to the JC Morgan fold willingingly. Killenges parachut was in danger of not opening, and thus the two stage demontion/termination over 6 months and the OTS smackdown prime WAMU for fire sale.
    The sovereign dude is the staw man to shake out the deal with the devil killenger did with Private-equity firm TPG …..
    sorry for the lack of cohesion,”

    this started in 2005 with the good guys left for Barckles, and the evil was left unchecked.

    …sht tht lls lk rnt frm crz prsn.